Principal of Sinyolo Girls in blue suit next to Ombudsman Otiende Amolo. In the picture are former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga, Attorney General Prof Githu Muigai and other dignitaries whose departments received awards.
BY KENNETH OGOSIA
The Commission on Administrative Justice’s unannounced visits to schools in order to pick the best managed institutions has earned i Sinyolo Girls High School rear recognition.
When the country woke up to a rude shock about students torching of seven dormitories at Itierio High School in Kiisi County making it the 40th school this year to suffer such hooliganism, Sinyolo Girls High School in Kisumu County celebrated a different scorecard that seemed to vindicate them in terms of best managed institutions.
Sinyolo Girls High School mainly attracts media attention during Kenya Secondary Schools and East Africa Secondary Schools games when then win trophies during hockey tournaments due to their exploits on the field.
However, while Iterio High School was attracting attention for the wrong reasons, Sinyolo Girls High School was basking in the limelight for different reasons.
The school scooped second best Huduma Ombudsman Award for excellent management and girl child mentoring that is organized by Commission on Administrative Justice.
Since the inauguration of the Huduma Ombudsman Awards in 2014 girls schools and female teachers have consistently scooped top awards for excellent management, innovation, discipline and mentoring of the girl child.
And while Sinyolo Girls High School won the scooped second best Huduma Ombudsman Award for excellent management and girl child mentoring after a visit from ‘contractors seeking to supply the school with hockey sticks.’
Students of Sinyolo Girls celebrating at KICC amphetheatre where they were awarded the Huduma Ombudsman Award
According to the school Principal, Ms Hellen Juma, the school was last year visited by people who pretended to be contractors looking for tenders to supply hockey sticks at the school that is the East African champions hockey champions.
“When they entered my office, they had a look at the glittering wall unit full of trophies from Brand Kenya, SOYA, Safaricom and tens of other championship trophies,” she explained.
Ms Juma said she told her guests that the type of tender they were looking for must be cleared by the Ministry Education and other relevant organs before it is awarded.
However, she was shocked later when she learnt that the ‘the suppliers of hockey sticks’ were indeed officials from the office of Commission on Administrative Justice who had come to access her school for Huduma Ombudsman Award for excellent management and girl child mentoring.
“When I received a call months later that my school had scooped second best Huduma Ombudsman Award for excellent management and girl child mentoring I was shocked,” she said.
However, the school was on its part to surprise the Commission on Administrative Justice when they awarded them with the Darling Award for the Ombudsman’s office.
Other schools awarded the Huduma Ombudsman Award for excellent management and girl child mentoring included Sin’gori Girls in Marakwek which was feted because of the institution’s tough stand against Female Genital Mutilation (FMG) and protection of young girls against the unlawful tradition.
Mrs Sophie Odumo of Migori’s Kuja School for the handicapped joined the coveted list of women teachers with big hearts and caring for the vulnerable children in society when she was also feted.
The name Hellen Nechesa Machuka may not ring a bell, but the high school principal is Kenya’s best civil servant.
She scooped the award in the Huduma Ombudsman — Individual Category — awards. Although the award came as a surprise, it’s hard work that got her to win.
“I am humbled, honored and inspired. I have been doing what I do because of the passion I have for my work; little did I know I would be recognized as the best civil servant. I am challenged, encouraged and inspired,” she said.
The principal of Kombeni Girls Secondary School, Rabai, in Kilifi County has made her school standout academically.
The school also, generates its own income to run its activities, including bursaries for the bright but needy girls.
She received the award for “distinction in efficiency, innovation and servant-hood in public service, which she received from President Uhuru Kenyatta at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre in Nairobi last week.
Sinyolo Girls hockey team that has brought to Kenya championship trophies in East Africa for three years running.
She says all activities and programmes at the school are guided by a master plan, results monitored and corrective action taken promptly.
The master plan drafted in 2008 has seen the mean score rise over the years from 2.5 to the current 4.5.
Part of her management strategies is involving parents, students, board of management and community members in managing the school.
She says as the team leader she sets the example for the teachers and students, which inspires them to perform.
“My style is not to speak too much, but let people do as I do through being in class to teach and waking up the students early for prayers and morning preps,” she said.
The second Huduma Ombudsman Awards were held on 31 July 2015 to celebrate public officials who’ve displayed outstanding service to the citizens of Kenya.
The Commission on Administrative Justice – also known as the Ombudsman – works to promote efficient and timely service delivery to the public, carried out with integrity, responsiveness and accountability.
Through complaints handling and mediation, the Ombudsman seeks to ensure that public service is provided with high ethical standards and prudent use of public resources.
Since 2011, the number of complaints about maladministration received by the Commission has increased from 1050 to 86900 in 2014. In the same period, the resolution rate of complaints has increased from 34 percent to 82 percent.
Other winners of the Huduma Ombudsman Awards 2015 are the Government Huduma Centers, for best public service institution, and Deputy County Commissioner Samuel Kimiti, Meru Central, for best individual public official.
Ombudsman, Dr Otiende Amollo, explained that the Huduma Centers were awarded the prize due to the excellent service delivery they provide to Kenyans . The award was based on numerous recommendations.
While traditional news reporting is losing its relevance, serious investigation now requires more than basic journalistic skills. To do this we require a lot of resources.
You can either BECOME A SPONSOR or MAKE A CONTRIBUTION
Nelson Mandela once said: “A critical, independent, and investigative press is the lifeblood of any democracy. The press must be free from state interference. It must have the economic strength to stand up to the blandishments of government officials. It must have sufficient independence from vested interests to be bold and inquiring without fear or favor. It must enjoy the protection of the constitution, so that it can protect our rights as citizens.”
If you like our journalism support us to continue bringing you groundbreaking and agenda setting stories.